June 22, 2021 (Google Translation) – From June 15 to 19, 2021, the Tonnerre amphibious helicopter carrier (PHA) and the La Fayette type frigate (FLF) Surcouf were integrated into Task force (TF) 465. Led by the Italian frigate Carabiniere and accompanied by the frigate Spanish Navarra, the two French vessels sailed off the Somali coast in order to monitor the area and fight against acts of piracy.
It’s 7:30 am when the radio crackles. ” Tango Oscar, this is Oscar Juliet, radiocheck, over. “” Oscar Juliet, this is Tango Oscar, loud and clear, over. “” Loud and clear, out. “.
Once COMCHECK was completed, each vessel then positioned itself to begin the coordinated navigation exercise. During the previous four days, PHA Tonnerre and FLF Surcouf sailed south of the Horn of Africa while the other vessels of the force guarded an area further north of their position. On this occasion, the group Joan of Arc has put its resources at the service of the fight against piracy, including a flight of Maritime Surveillance (SURMAR) carried by the helicopter Panther Detachment 36 th Flotilla.
On June 18, the four ships came together to navigate in formation and strengthen their interoperability during various exercises. As such, the buildings carried out a tactical evolution exercise (EVOLEX), a loan of a helicopter platform to accommodate a helicopter other than that of the building (CROSSDECK) as well as a refueling presentation at the sea (PRERAM). During this day of maneuver, the various vessels were notably accompanied by the Indian frigate Trikand , invited to join them.
After an EVOLEX in which the Tonnerre was the base building, the ships reconfigured to begin the CROSSDECK phase. The main objective of this aeronautical exercise is to train the aviation implementation teams, from the operations center to the flight deck, via the navigation and aviation bridges. In this context, the helicopters landed alternately on the flight deck of the PHA Tonnerre , comprising the Alouette III of the Trikand , the Sea Hawk of the Spanish frigate Navarra and finally the NH90 of the Carabiniere.. After a coordinated takeoff, the four aircraft found themselves in flight for two passes in formation. The afternoon was then punctuated by a second EVOLEX then a PRERAM exercise. On this occasion, the Tonnerre was supplied by the Carabiniere and the Surcouf, which also worked with the frigates Navarra and Trikand .
Finally, this day of cooperation ended with the traditional Farewell. “ Your presence today in this exercise was a great value. I think this is the first time in the year that I have seen at sea so many ships able to do Atalanta formation. ”, Underlined the admiral commanding TF 465.“ For the Tonnerre and the Surcouf, it is the end of a long deployment which led us to the Indo-Pacific. »Concluded Captain Arnaud Tranchant.